This Isn’t Working Anymore!

I am exhausted! This isn’t working anymore! I work all the time and can’t catch a break. If only I could land my dream client… If only my family support the hard work that I do… If only I had a chance to slow down a bit. If only I knew exactly what the right answer was, I’d just do that!

Does this sound like something you’ve said lately? Maybe you’ve only thought it? Being an entrepreneur can be one of the most rewarding jobs. And it can be one of the most lonely. Next to money problems; feelings of isolation, burnout, and indecisiveness on where to take the company can be overwhelming. With so many entrepreneurs struggling with direction in their businesses how do you beat the slump?

I took your advice here and what has worked for my personal 1-on-1 coaching clients and here is the top advice I have compiled from you to you!

Real Connection

Overwhelmingly the response was having an authentic connection to a business best friend took some of the pressure off. Get up close and personal with an individual or a mastermind group that will pu8sh you to grow your business and tell you when you need to slow down. Having like-minded individuals around will increase your ability and function in your business because we all know,

“You become like the 5 people you spend the most time with!”

So spend your time well!

Having a business friend or a mastermind group to work with to keep you growing your businesses and not just working in your business carries a value that grows exponentially. As vulnerable as you are the greater the potential for growth.

Mindfulness and Relaxation

The next response I have from your peers was mindfulness and relaxation. Being able to unplug from your business to be fully present with your family and friends increases the personal connection. It allows you to be fully present with the ones you love the most and support you while you take on the market you are a part of.

One of my clients advised that until he took the time to slow down with his family he found it harder and harder to get out of bed in the morning to work in his business. By cutting out the quality time he had with his family he had lost sight of the “why” he had started his business in the first place. He originally wanted the flexibility to go to family events, coach his son’s baseball team and have a regular date night with his wife. While he was building his business he struggled to set the boundaries necessary with clients to protect his why. Until he focused on mindfulness to deal with the stress he had completely lost touch with what originally charged him up to accomplish great things in his business.

He took the time to make the necessary changes and unfortunately lost a couple of clients but the quality of his work grew. Most importantly his family got their husband and father back!

These traits of leaders make all the difference in growing your company in a personally sustainable way. 

Take the opportunity to grow your relationships with peer businesses and share this article! Comment below your favorite Mindfulness technique or relaxation activity!

 

 

 

 

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Banish Burnout

With the Holidays behind us and the New Year stretching out seemingly endless, it can be overwhelming to get back into action. Don’t worry if you are feeling burnout, stressed and the struggles of a drained bank account.

I have had several clients reaching out to me asking, “How do I create a plan for 2017 when I’m already so tired? Where do I go from here?”

First, I feel you! I have had many years where I spent in a dead sprint from Nov 1 until it seemed like the end of January. This year was the first year I had the holidays off since high school. (ahem, no comments about my age!)I was in a rut where I wasn’t able to enjoy the holiday season, let alone my family. It took me until the third holiday season in my business to take the time off to be with my family.

How did I banish my holiday burnout?

Mindfulness. Now a lot of people talk about mindfulness but how do you DO THAT? When I’m talking about mindfulness its a combination of focus and intentionality. One way you build mindfulness or stress into your life is the story you have in your head while activities are happening.

One of my clients (really all of them) is brilliant! But she so easily sweeps that aside, especially in her business. We know being an entrepreneur is wonderful, however, it rarely has all peaks without the valleys. One bump happens and she forgets she is a poised, intelligent, capable business woman. Not just her but sometimes as owners we become crisis driven.

Take the time to be mindful each day and as often throughout the day as possible.

When you are in a situation, what you say to yourself in your head around the situation creates a tie in your brain. For instance, when you are looking around and your house is much messier than you would love for it to be day to day think about what you say to yourself.

Do you use phrases like, “I can’t believe I live in this filth! I’m/ this is disgusting. I should be better, more organized…” or any other accusatory speech? These words and phrases build and reinforce the story that you are a failure. You will begin to have an emotional response based on the story you have been hearing in your head.

One way you can be mindful in situations where your house doesn’t look perfect is to practice gratitude.

Look for 3 things for which you are grateful. For example, I’m grateful for the blanket strewn across the couch because it symbolizes quality time with my family.

Being mindful of the benefits and consequences of having a family, love, community or connection often look messy. It can look like dishes, or crumbs on the floor, groceries to put away, laundry that needs to be done.

In a work setting, this is reflected in having new challenges. You can be upset about challenges popping up or having new places to overcome. That is one way to view business flow.

Another way you can spin the story in your head is being grateful to have new challenges, that they symbolize growth, expansion, a healthy company.

I was speaking with a client in one of my mastermind groups and they informed me they were not getting the sales they wanted and couldn’t understand why. They had made a post on Facebook about selling a product in their new business one time.

That’s the equivalent of shouting from your porch, “I started a business!”

and never following up. We spoke a little about managing expectations and the story they had in their head about what people thought.

As humans, we still don’t read minds but we like to make up what others think. Staying open, and vulnerable, to give people the benefit of being personally invited into our story builds a connection to the business. We worked on being open to giving people the benefit of the doubt, that maybe the customers were distracted or hadn’t seen the post.

In that case, it would be a disservice to not repeat the message about the product.

My client was able to move from stressed and overwhelmed to hopeful and open to sharing the product they offered and get back out there!

When we look at these stories we are being intentional with our focus and the conclusions we draw from actions and reactions to ourselves.

We choose every day the connections we make from all of the data streaming into our lives.

When you tell the data where to go and how to connect we respond intentionally. When the data has us running scared, running stressed we are reacting in the moment to a temporary position as a permanent issue.

I challenge you to start paying attention to what you say to yourself about what’s going on!

If you are looking to Up-Level Your Mindset We have a free 5-day challenge to help you Banish burnout, Gain Clarity and Build Momentum to have your best year yet in 2017!

Email info@plantosucceed.net or click on Up-level your Mindset.

 

 

Five Myths of Entrepreneurial Success

 

As Millennials become more and more of the workforce, entrepreneurship is surging in popularity. The millennial generation favors independence and meaning in their work, and don’t see becoming a senior executive as the apex of their careers.

 

It’s no surprise, then, that 67% of millennials have a goal of starting their own business. Being an entrepreneur is hard work, but you get to shape the company and set the vision yourself. That, along with incredible flexibility and purpose, makes entrepreneurship ideal for young adults.

 

There are, however, a lot of unfortunate myths surrounding entrepreneurial success. Believing these myths can hold you back from creating the impact you intended to make. Before you set out on your entrepreneurial adventure, make sure you don’t believe these five myths.

 

Myth #1:  You Can Never Quit

Many entrepreneurs go into business with a “burn the ships” mentality – that is, they cut off all opportunity to change course, and feel like they have to stick with their idea no matter what happens.

 

Unfortunately, this can lead to dismal results. Sticking with an idea that doesn’t have a good fit with the market is one of the primary reasons businesses fail. It’s vital to be willing to pivot or even abandon a product or service if it’s not something that other people want to pay for.

 

If you can’t sell your product or service, you are digging a financial hole and not making any progress, or your business is ruining your personal life, quitting could be the best decision you’ve ever made.

 

Myth #2: You Can Be Prepared for Everything

The Boy Scout motto, “Be prepared”, is also an important mantra among entrepreneurs. Planning for how you will handle challenges (distributor falls through? Less demand than expected? Turned down for financing?) is an important part of being successful as an entrepreneur.

 

You should also have some plans for success – how you’ll handle production for a big jump in demand, making sure your servers are strong enough for a surge in website traffic, and more. However, don’t think for a minute that you can be prepared for everything. Being adaptable and able to adjust to changing circumstances is essential to entrepreneurial success.

 

Trying to be too prepared can be a delay tactic – a way to prevent yourself from taking action on something that scares you. Don’t hold back – over-planning won’t help you, it will just make you more frustrated if things don’t go the way you expect. Instead, take reasonable precautions and be prepared for change. For more information here Read.

 

Myth #3: If You Build It, They Will Come

Having a great idea is the seed of entrepreneurship. But it’s only the seed – there’s a lot you have to do to nurture it and encourage it to grow. Unfortunately, some entrepreneurs assume that if they build their good idea, the world will flock to their door.

 

Many business owners think they can spread their idea simply by posting on Facebook or Instagram. While that’s a start, being active on social media isn’t enough. You have to market yourself in a way that stands out. Consumers have a huge number of options in every category, and all of the information is at their fingertips thanks to the internet.

 

Instead of practicing “random acts of marketing”, create a marketing plan that allows you to systematically build awareness about your company, move people through your sales funnel, and gain customers on a regular basis.

 

Myth #4: Winners Don’t Work

There is a certain segment of entrepreneurs who are looking for a “silver bullet” that will allow them to make large amounts of money without working very hard. I see it all the time in Facebook ads, where gurus claim to be ready to show you how to “earn six figures while working 10 hours a week”.

 

First, let me tell you that the only way they’re earning six figures – if they even are – is by selling the idea of “no work” to others. Secondly, the idea that winners don’t work – or that they only work for a few years and then sit on their laurels – is not the foundation of business success.

 

Instead of looking for a silver bullet that doesn’t exist, take the attitude of the tortoise from the “Tortoise and the Hare”. Slow and steady consistent work wins the race.

 

Myth #5: Mindset Doesn’t Matter

On the other hand, there are entrepreneurs who understand the need to take action but focus on grinding it out every day to the exclusion of working on their mindset and personal and professional growth.

 

Being a successful entrepreneur takes more than long hours. It takes learning and making changes in your internal world as well. Some of the mindsets that are vital to entrepreneurial success include:

  • If you don’t have a clear vision for what you want the company to be and what purpose it serves, you won’t be able to be successful over the long term. You also need to learn to communicate that vision effectively to others as your business grows.
  • Believe in Yourself and Your Business. Believing in yourself and your business will give you the emotional resilience you need when you encounter setbacks. Buy In
  • Willingness to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone. Brandon Burchard said, “Mediocrity begins the precise moment you swap love for challenge with love of comfort.”
  • A Bias Toward Action. Learning is vital, but it isn’t true that knowledge is power. Knowledge is only potential power – true power comes from acting on the new understanding.

 

Having the right mindsets will help you take the right actions, which will help you succeed. You can’t overlook the importance of working on yourself from the inside out.

 

If you’re ready to embrace entrepreneurial success in 2017, I’m here to help. I’ll help you identify limiting mindsets, take action to make changes, and break out of any false beliefs you have. Join us today here to connect with a group of Firestarters in the Fired Up! Entrepreneur Community Growth.

Are you Busy But Broke?

Being busy is no excuse to be broke! Everyone knows someone who is always busy but never has any money. Has anyone stopped to ask why?

Why are you broke all the time? It is easy to stay busy with tasks that never affect your bank account. I see this all the time as a Coach. People come in with a list a mile long of tasks that they are working on or have finished and they are so proud of everything on the list, but none of it makes money!

We are going to find 3 ways to know if you have busy but broke syndrome. Then we are going to look at 3 busy but broke breakthroughs.

How Do You Know if You have the “Busy but Broke” Syndrome?

1. Does your bank account reflect a balance on par with the hours you are working?

Since my business is a success-based business most of my clients are excellent planners. One trait planners have is that they try and anticipate and structure their entire business, often spending more time in planning than executing money-making activities.

Some of my clients rearrange and re-plan their schedule because they feel they will have control over all of the details if they are safely in a plan. But if you’ve ever worked with people or technology you know life isn’t like that – some things will just take longer.

If you plan 10 minutes to check your email, it never fails: that’s the day you received 100 new emails to which you need to respond. Now you spend the rest of the day in catch up mode with tasks of low priority so that you can feel like you are accomplishing your to-do list.

This structure looks very important to you, but really it is masking the real things that are stealing your productivity.

2. Do you find yourself searching for every guru’s top tips for productivity?

Every guru has a different but equally awesome way they got to the top – because it fit them. If you spend all of your time reading the latest tips from the latest guru and then re-planning your life around their ideas, you’ll be chasing your tail.

It’s fine to get new ideas, but if you never stick with it long enough to see if anything comes from it, you will simply be busy but broke!

3 Are you always stressed and behind, running from one task to the next without completing anything or making money?

This is also very common. Many people do not have a great way to separate priority in their business put everything in the same box marked “urgent”.

Sometimes this looks like procrastination. Chances are if there is something you are procrastinating you need to look at your mindset around the task, but that’s a topic for another day.

This can also look like Attention Deficit Disorder. If you have A.D.D. you understand the extra time it takes to process your life. Unfortunately, a lot of people claim to struggle with ADD but truthfully they are just poor time managers.

I followed one client through their morning and this is what it looked like for this work at home mom: Boot up computer, remember needing to unload the dishwasher. Unloaded top rack of dishwasher and remembered she needed to return a client email from the previous day. Opened email and noticed a refund not issued properly for a separate client, called to resolve bank issue. Remembered needed to post on social media account and picked up her phone. A friend called and she spoke with that friend for a while. While on the phone realized she needed a specific outfit for the next day and began a load of laundry, then proceeded to put laundry away. While putting laundry away she stepped on the infamous LEGO and set her little one to cleaning his room. While he was cleaning he decided he was hungry so Mom went down to make lunch where she had an email waiting for her from the client from the previous day.

Her morning was running from one crisis to another.

I had her sit down with a Post-It note and every time an item popped into her head she wrote it down. She came up with 32 other items she needed to complete right now. 32! And the one deadline she had that day that was non-negotiable wasn’t even on the list. At the end of her morning, she was busy but hadn’t gotten anything real done.

Now: 3 ways to break the cycle of Busy but Broke!

1. Like the stay-at-home mom I observed, I’d like you to go get a Post-It note pad. Go ahead and create two Post-It notes: one titled “Due Today” and one titled “Do When Time Allows.

As you go about your work, write down each distraction or the new idea on one of the two notes. Only allow tasks or expectations with looming deadlines to make it to the shortlist for today.

Guard this closely! If you need help saying “No”, read my recent post here then come back.

2. If you’re an expert on every guru’s advice ever written, pick one tip and implement only that one! Do it consistently for a period of time.

To know if something is productive you have to be able to isolate the data based on one change. That means you have to stick with it! I mean it too. It takes 21 days to make a habit and you should allow a reasonable amount of time to pass to know if the tip is working.

Hint: It might take longer than 21 days.

Do not change something that was working for you because you now want to achieve the same goal just like your new mentor did for their success. Your success is your journey, not theirs!

I see this all the time as well, clients who read a new book and feel they need to adjust their business plan to this style of leadership, business or success. All depending on the book’s focus, and they can lose hours or even days adjusting and editing what is already working.  Take note if you see yourself doing this!

Often we fix what we feel is easy to adjust, like our schedules in order to avoid changing what is harder to change, like a habit, mindset, or limitation.

One of the ways I help clients overcome this exactly is through mastermind groups. Having someone else who sees your business activity and overcomes the areas in your blindspot. Read more about Masterminds here! Do not waste 5 years going in circles when you could be part of a group that builds you and keeps you accountable to your greatness!

3. This is the most brutal but the most effective tip, and the shortest. Do what makes you money first then fill in the rest of your schedule.

If you’re struggling with being busy but broke, you’re not alone! I see it all the time in my coaching practice. Fortunately, there are actionable ways to solve the problem.

Know yourself. If you like to follow everyone’s advice limit the amount of advice you are ingesting. Make sure you are being strategic that the advice you are following is aligned with where your business is headed and it makes you money. Do not take your advice from broke and busted individuals.

Seek out situations where you have authentic, transparent relationships with other business people who are committed to growing their business and making money. If you are leaving excuses and time wasters behind get involved with a mastermind group to amplify your growth.

We have Masterminds starting soon. Email info@plantosucceed.net for more information!

 

 

 

How Millenials Are Leveraging Technology to Work From Home

How Millennials Are Leveraging Technology to Work From Home

 

Welcome to the remote worker economy! Not only are more and more people working in gigs as freelancers from home, but even traditional companies are increasingly allowing work-from-home options. From 2005 to 2012, the number of Americans working remotely grew by 80%!

 

The freedom, enhanced work/life balance and increased productivity delight those who get to work from home. Employers benefit too, as allowing employees to work from home allows them to win top talent into the organization, hire regardless of geography, and keep staff motivated.

 

Solid communication is vital to encouraging teamwork and effectively meeting goals when employees are remote. To make working at home mimic the seamless connections of being in the office, millennials and the companies they work for are turning to several key technologies.

 

Video Conferencing

Need a face-to-face meeting? No problem. There are easily a dozen great options for video conferencing and web conferences, from Zoom to GoToMeeting to Skype for Business.

 

The benefits of video conferencing are significant. You can have face-to-face communication even in remote working situations, which is vital to avoiding miscommunication. 80% of communication is non-verbal, and signals such as eye contact, facial expressions, and even gestures convey far more than words alone.

 

Video conferencing is essential to capturing this non-verbal communication and ensuring that your team feels connected, motivated, and well-informed.

 

Facebook Groups

Facebook isn’t just for killing time – it can also be used to enhance productivity and communication among remote work teams.

 

Facebook has several advantages over other communication techniques. First, almost everyone already knows how to use it. Millennials especially came of age in the era of social media and are very familiar with Facebook and its social media cousins.

 

Secondly, Facebook is free, which is a major boon for smaller companies or organizations who are feeling the budget pinch. It’s simple to create a secret Facebook group that is only used internally, and then invite employees, interns, or other team members to join.

 

Slack

Despite the name, Slack isn’t about slacking off. It’s a team communication tool that helps everyone get out of the email inbox and into a more efficient communication system.

 

One-on-one communication has its limits. You probably need everyone to know what’s going on with a project, but you may not need to email them and interrupt their workflow. Slack allows team members to update a project, and other team members can see the update on their own time, ask questions, or interject additional information.

 

Besides being a great communication platform, Slack integrates with many other common project management tools. No matter what your work team is using to manage tasks and accountability, Slack can help you talk about it more transparently. Share files, search conversations, or even initiate a one-on-one private chat. The possibilities are endless.

 

Project Management Software

Work is about getting things done, and working remotely requires a central location where files, tasks, and updates are stored. Millennials are very comfortable working inside of technology, so project management tools like Asana, Basecamp, or even Trello are easy tools for them to adopt.

 

Project management software has a host of benefits, including allowing teams to easily collaborate on projects, delegate tasks, and stay on schedule. Because tasks can be assigned to individuals, it’s easy to hold specific team members accountable to meeting their deliverables.

 

Management and stakeholders are also able to log in, see the progress of various projects, and receive updates on a schedule that works best for them. Project management software makes communication with clients and vendors painless as well.

 

Millennials are digital natives, and leveraging technology for work is second nature. With remote work growing in leaps and bounds, knowing how to use these four types of technology to work from home helps millennials be productive and happy while avoiding traffic and spending more time with family. It’s a win for the worker and a win for the company.

 

What technology do you use work from home? Why does or doesn’t your company promote working from home? Share in the comments!

Five Reasons to Join a Mastermind Group in 2017.

Five Reasons to Join a Mastermind Group in 2017

 

If you’ve never heard of a mastermind group, you may wonder what it is. It sounds like a meeting of evil overlords, doesn’t it? Fortunately, that’s far from the reality.

 

A mastermind group is simply a group of highly motivated individuals that meet regularly to give each other encouragement and accountability. The phrase “mastermind group” was first coined 75 years ago by Napoleon Hill in his book Think and Grow Rich.

 

Participants in mastermind groups challenge each other to set powerful goals and work toward accomplishing them. If you want to meet and exceed your goals for 2017, you need to join a mastermind. Here’s why.

You’ll Get New Perspective

One of the greatest things about a mastermind is that everyone comes from a different place. In a really good mastermind, there are motivated people from all walks of life and business who come together to help each other.

 

As a result, you’ll be able to get a new perspective on your work, goals, and ambitions. People who are looking at things from the outside will help you stay balanced, encouraged, and inspired.

It’s an Exclusive Community

One of the great things about a mastermind group is that not anyone can join at any time. You usually have to be invited or apply. As a result, the people in the group are committed, and you can generally trust that what happens in the group will be confidential.

 

This exclusive community aspect ensures that you are working with the best of the best and that you don’t have to weed through the nonsense to get the help you need. The other members need you and you need them – everyone is committed to a great experience.

You’re Not Alone

Being in business can be a very lonely venture, especially if your friends and family aren’t supportive. A mastermind group can help end the feeling that you’re in this by yourself and you have to figure everything out.

 

When your mastermind group includes people at different levels of success, or includes people in different forms of business, you can get advice about what works and what doesn’t. This advice can save you not only from frustration and time researching on your own, but it can save the heartache and financial cost of making major mistakes.

Extend Your Network

It’s not what you know; it’s who you know, right? Well, if that’s the case, a mastermind is a vital part of business success. Joining a mastermind group not only expands your network by giving you access to members of the group, it also can give you access to contacts those members have.

 

If you need trusted advice on a good accountant or who you should hire to do social media consulting, a mastermind group can put you in touch with the right people. At the same time, the people you know and trust become assets to others in the group. A great mastermind will dramatically increase and improve your network.

Accountability to Reach Your Goals

A mastermind group is not for the weak-hearted. If you’re not committed to reaching your goals and being accountable for the steps you take, don’t join a mastermind! However, if you are on fire to reach the next level and need accountability, a mastermind group is perfect for you.

 

Often, seeing what others in the group are aiming for and accomplishing will push you higher and help you set bigger goals that you would have ever thought of. You can lay out a plan of action and count on your mastermind to hold you accountable for those results. Being part of a mastermind can multiply and assure your success.

 

Being part of a mastermind requires commitment, passion, hard work, and willingness to give and receive. If you don’t have that fire, please don’t join one! But if you do, you must be part of a mastermind group in 2017. Your success could depend on it.

 

For more information about masterminds and how they benefit you, contact me at info@plantosucceed.net. I’d be happy to help you find your fit!

Goodbye Job: Welcome to the Gig Economy

Goodbye Job: Welcome to the Gig Economy

 

If you’re ready to tell your boss to hit the road so you can work on your own terms, you’re not alone. The number of freelancers is rising steadily, and a study by Intuit predicted that by 2020, 40% of American workers would be independent contractors.

 

Are you ready for the opportunities and challenges offered by the gig economy?

The Forces Behind the Gig Economy

The increase in freelance work compared to traditional full-time jobs has been pushed forward by a number of different factors.

 

First, millennials now make up 34% of the American workforce, and by 2020 they are expected to make up 46% of the workforce. Millennials are well known for being job-hoppers. The reason they change jobs so often is that they truly want something different from their jobs. Their priorities are:

  • Opportunities to learn and grow
  • High-qualitygoodbye-job leadership in the workplace
  • Work they are interested in doing

 

In essence, the generation that will soon become the majority of the workforce isn’t interested in the traditional “work hard at whatever is available for 40 years and then retire” model of work that previous generations have held.

 

The second factor behind the gig economy is the swift digitization of the modern world, which decreases the number of jobs humans are needed to do. Because software can do so much, people are being quickly pushed out of full-time jobs. Instead, human input is needed intermittently – a perfect setup for a freelance gig.

 

Finally, there are economic pressures that are causing businesses to reduce staff, reduce benefits, and favor hiring those who have a smaller impact on the business’ bottom line. There are no longer significant rewards to being a long-tenured worker at most companies. At the same time, organizations are beginning to favor hiring consultants and outsourcing to freelancers as a way to control costs.

The Pros and Cons of Being a Gig Worker

There are definitely benefits to being a freelancer or “gig worker”. However, there are some significant drawbacks that need to be considered as well.

Pros of Freelance Work:

  • Working when and how you want is one of the major benefits of being a freelancer. You can adapt your work to your life rather than the other way around.
  • When you work a lot of gigs rather than one job, you get a chance to learn about a variety of topics and do many different types of work.
  • Work You Love. When you do freelance work, you can choose projects you are passionate about rather than being assigned work by a boss.

Cons of Freelance Work:

  • If you aren’t clear on your strengths and don’t know how to market yourself to those looking for freelancers, you can have a hard time keeping consistent work.
  • If you aren’t naturally self-disciplined, you will struggle with the degree of freedom freelancing gives. It’s easy to procrastinate endlessly if someone isn’t watching over your shoulder.
  • No Benefits. Some professional level workers who are used to receiving company-assisted benefits like health insurance and life insurance will struggle with having to secure these coverages on their own.

Are You Ready for the Gig Economy?

Changes have a way of happening whether we want them to or not. Our best option is to be fully aware of what’s going on and prepare ourselves in advance.

 

So, are you ready for the gig economy? Are you ready to do the hard work of discovering your gifts, standing out from the pack, and marketing skills, knowing that you will be able to control your own destiny if you do?

 

The first step to preparing for the gig economy is to do a comprehensive assessment of your skills and passions. What do you love and what are you great at? Where do those two come together?

 

Secondly, it’s important to decide how you can contribute to others. Not everything we’re in love with and great at is a marketable skill. Consider where your skilled passions overlap with other people’s actual needs.

 

Third, it’s time to stand out. Do some research on others who work in the area you are considering. How do they present themselves? What unique qualities do you have that are currently lacking in the marketplace?

 

Finally, it’s time to find work opportunities. Create a website and begin to share your talents online. You can also take a look at job boards for opportunities that are currently available. If possible, create a portfolio of your work to use as a part of your applications.

 

Does the gig economy excite you or frighten you? Both reactions are common. Share your thoughts in the comments below!

 

If you need more help getting ready to for this change and moving from fear to enthusiasm, I’d love to help.  Contact me at plantosucceed.net for a free consultation today!

Is a Skills Boot Camp Worth Your Time?

Is a Skills Boot Camp Worth Your Time?

 

Students are struggling under massive debt and daily gaps between awarded financial aid and the actual cost to live, and not gaining basic skills to get entry level jobs in their field after college.

 

If you want to develop new skills, you can try to teach yourself with the help of Google and the library. However, there’s often a more effective way – signing up for a skills boot camp.

 

The problem is that these boot camps may be pricy, so it’s important to understand what skills you can get from a boot camp and how to find one that will help you the most.

The Advantages of a Skills Boot Camp

A skills boot camp gives you several advantages over trying to learn skills on your own. These advantages are discipline, structure, and a full scope of knowledge.

 

Discipline

How many times have you told yourself that you’re going to commit to something, only to fall off after a couple of weeks? If you’re like most Americans, the answer is “more than you can count”. There’s a reason only 8% of Americans achieve their New Year’s resolutions each year.

 

A boot camp will give you the discipline you need to actually follow through by providing accountability and evaluation throughout the learning period. Depending on the type of boot camp, this might come from projects, homework, peer evaluation, or coach accountability.

 

Structure

Teachers take classes on how to develop a lesson plan – it’s not something you can just stumble in to. Even if you have perfect discipline on your own, your learning will be very piecemeal unless you have a specific structure.

 

Simply Googling “leadership skills” will not give you a thorough class on how to lead, and you certainly won’t get the hands on application you would in a boot camp. Boot camps have the advantage that they are structured and include built-in time to practice what you’ve learned.

 

Full Scope of Knowledge

Learning a topic simply by using search or books will give you a piecemeal, incomplete understanding of the subject. You may miss key points simply because they weren’t available in the materials you chose to use. You may also get confused because basic points are assumed or glossed over.

 

However, a boot camp can give you a more complete experience. You will start with the foundational information and move on to more advanced material, gaining a complete understanding of the topic. Boot camps are structured to give you a full scope of knowledge on the topic.

Who a Skills Boot Camp is NOT For

Skills boot camps are not for everyone. You have to have a specific mindset and willingness to learn in order to truly benefit from a skills boot camp.

 

Specifically, you have to have commitment, a willingness to grow, and a willingness to find the right boot camp for you. If you don’t have these things, a skills boot camp is not for you.

 

Commitment

Generally, skills boot camps have two kinds of commitment – time and money.

 

Financially, you have to be able to afford the boot camp, or be committed to finding a way to make the financing happen. If the boot camp is virtual you won’t have additional relocation expenses, but on-site skills boot camp will have housing and food expenses you can’t overlook.

 

Time-wise you have to be willing to commit to the work for the duration of the program. Before joining a boot camp, make sure you understand how much work will be required, both for the group classes and for homework or practice. If you can’t commit to the work of the program, you will be wasting time and money.

 

Willingness to Change

Many skills boot camps aren’t just about learning a specific skill; they are also about shifting your mindset. This includes boot camps about business, entrepreneurship, and life skills. If you’re not willing to open your mind to new ways of thinking about things, you are likely a poor fit for a boot camp.

 

The good news is that new mindsets can help you go much further with your new skills than you could ever go before. Mindsets also transfer to helping you utilize other skillsets, so a change in mindset can literally change your whole life!

 

Willingness to Find the Right Skills Boot Camp for You

Everyone will say that their boot camp is exactly what you need. It’s up to you to find out if it’s true. You’ll need to research the following aspects of a boot camp to make sure you’ll benefit:

  • Cost and location
  • Skills and mindsets learned
  • Applicability to future jobs you desire
  • Any employer partnerships the boot camp maintains
  • Success rate of previous participants
  • Reviews from previous participants

 

A boot camp can be an incredible experience that helps you develop mindsets and skills that you will use for the rest of your life. Or, it can be a complete waste of time and money. Which one it is depends entirely on you – your wiliness to commit, change, and find the right fit for you.

 

We help students take their skills and abilities to make money now, and build a resume with appropriate job skills to get a job after graduation. This promotes and maintains your student’s independence and future success.

If you’re interested in earning more cash in college without leaving campus, the Cash for College virtual Boot Camp could be perfect for you. Do you want to create the life you’ve dreamed of?  Watch the video to find out more at plantosucceed.net!

 

ucfc-boot-camp-blog

If you’re interested in earning more cash in college without leaving campus, the Cash for College virtual Boot Camp could be perfect for you. Do you want to create the life you’ve dreamed of?  Watch the video to find out more at plantosucceed.net!

Do You Know the Full Cost of College?

Do You Know the Full Cost of College?

When you look at how much college will cost, are you comparing schools based on “sticker price” – that is, tuition and fees – and that’s it?

If so, you’re making a mistake. The “tuition and fees” price of college is actually only 50 – 70% of the true cost of going to school.

Maybe, if you’re aware, you look at the college’s estimates for books and room and board and add those in too.

Now you’re getting closer, but you’re still not there.

The Costs No One Budgets For

College is an expensive endeavor, and even when you buy the biggest room and board package it’s far from an all-inclusive resort.

You may plan on your student having a job that covers incidental food, activities, and life in general. Even still, there are tons of expenses that catch students and their parents by surprise every year. Here are just a few of the costs very few people think of budgeting for.

Dorm and Apartment Furnishing

Furnishing a dorm room is not cheap! There’s all kinds of small things that add up – a dorm fridge, microwave, sheet sets, comforter, decorations, and more. Many students are their families find themselves struggling to pay the expense, which can easily range from $750 – $1500.  

Furnishing a dorm and/or apartment is an expense that catches many families by surprise. Other expenses often overlooked are the cost of laundry, cleaning supplies, and cell service or internet access which can add $100-$300 monthly out of pocket.

Travel – Part 1

Many families look forward to having their students come home on weekends, holidays and school breaks, but they underestimate how much it costs to get them back and forth.

Travel – especially if your student is out-of-state – can be expensive. Will they fly home frequently? Will you drive to pick them up? What is the cost of gas, food, and lodging for the trip?

Even if your child is close to home, the gas, wear on a car, and incidentals from road trips can cost a pretty penny.

The other costs to consider when traveling home are not always having access to resources such as the campus library, the internet, a computer with the right software at home to continue with assignments, and access to professors and/or tutoring.

Travel – Part 2

How is your student going to get around on campus? If you provide a car or scooter, also plan to pay for tickets, towing charges due to parking mistakes, and regular repairs.

If your student can’t have a car, you might consider buying them a moped or scooter to get around. That expense can be $1000 – $1500, not including a helmet or storage lock.

And, of course, there’s car insurance. If your student is going to school in a larger city, expect to find that insuring a young driver in that environment will be quite expensive.

Between travel on camps and travel coming home, many families find themselves paying thousands of dollars they didn’t count on.

Storage

Congratulations, your student was selected for a prestigious semester abroad, or an amazing internship over the summer! The only question is, what are you going to do with his or her personal belongings during that time?

Many times, students find it impractical to bring everything they own at school home for school breaks, summers, or semesters abroad. As a result, parents find themselves paying for storage units to keep things safe until they return.

Generally, storing personal items between school terms is an unexpected cost.

Covering the Extra Costs of College

If a student or family finds themselves surprised by enough expenses, the results can be devastating. A college fund can be used up in just 2.5 or 3 years, leaving a student with the choice to leave school or take on significant debt. Often these students are considered the highest risk as they will not be able to take advantage of a higher salary degree offers and will still have to maintain payments for school loans. 

School loans are not a great solution either. Statistics show that in 2015, 68% of college seniors had college debt. Their debt averaged $30,100 per borrower.

At the same time, 41% of the graduating classes of 2013 and 2014 were making $25,000 or less after graduation. Only 25% of those classes make $40,000 or more.

It doesn’t take a college math degree to see that those numbers don’t add up! Starting life in the “real world” with a crushing debt load and a low salary is not a formula for success.

Students and their families need a better solution. Students need to know how to make their own money on their own terms – in college and beyond.

When they do, they can meet the financial challenges they face with less debt, and position themselves for success in college and after graduation.

That’s where Plan to Succeed can help. Our Right Steps Conferences help prepare your student and your family for success in college and afterward. You can attend an upcoming event.

Want to learn more? Visit Plantosucceed.net for upcoming events. Email info@plantosucceed.net for more information!

The 3 Essentials of Networking

The Three Essentials of Networking

Does the term “networking” make you think of cocktail parties where everyone is giving their elevator pitch and shoving business cards into your hand? If so, I understand. Many people feel this way, and that makes a lot of business owners not want to network at all!

If this was the only way networking operated, I wouldn’t do it either. But the reality is that networking can be done naturally. It can be done in a way that builds relationships. It can be done in a way that truly cares about the other person.

Here are the three essentials of networking.

Business Networking

This is the type that makes most people shudder. However, it is possible to network without being fake.

Here are some tips that will help you get the most out of your business networking.

Set Goals. What are you hoping to get out of the networking meeting or event? Are you hoping to connect with five new people? Make sure your goals aren’t just about your business but are about building real relationships.

Ask Open-Ended Questions. When you ask yes-or- no style questions, you shut down the conversation before you even start. Instead, ask open-ended questions and truly listen to the answers.

Know the Value You Provide. Knowing the value you provide to your customers will help you answer the inevitable question, “So what do you do?” Instead of giving an ad pitch or just saying “I’m an insurance agent,” give an answer that explains what you really help people achieve.

Focus on Being a Resource. The most powerful person in the room isn’t the one that has the most money or fame. The most powerful person in the room is the one with the most helpful connections. Become that person!

Business networking isn’t just about building your business, it can also be about building your career.You can network with influencers in your industry or company, be helpful, and learn from them.

Business networking doesn’t just happen at designated networking events. You can use these tips to build relationships that are helpful to your business or career no matter who you meet and where you meet them!

Peer Networking

While business networking is about growing your business or career upward, peer networking is about meeting and connecting with colleagues horizontally. Some business owners or professionals don’t like to network with peers because they find it threatening. The truth is that networking with colleagues is a key professional skill, not a competition. Consider these tips:

Network Both Online and Offline. Don’t consider a LinkedIn connection request the end of your peer networking. Interact with those you connect with, both online and offline. Consider being part of industry groups online, and finding time to socialize and share with your colleagues in person.

Be a Resource. Just like with business networking, focus as much on what you can give as what you can receive. Do keep in mind, though, that your peers are a great resource for you as well. Post this on Facebook

Don’t be afraid to ask for help!

Networking with Peers Boosts Your Career Prospects. Being known and friendly with those you work with can go a long way toward helping you with your career. You never know when one of these colleagues will be in a position to put in a good word for you. Even more, being on good terms with coworkers will make you look great to your boss.

Network, Don’t Gossip. While getting together over drinks to complain about your boss and your workplace may feel good, it’s not networking. If you become known as a complainer or a gossip – or you associate with those who are known that way – you’ll hurt your career instead of helping it.

Mentee Networking

You now know how to network with those who can build your business and with those who are working alongside you. The last essential of networking is to reach back and network with those who are coming up behind you. Tweet this

Being a mentor is a specific type of commitment with specific responsibilities. It’s great if you can be a mentor, but even if you can’t you can engage in what I call “mentee networking”. That is small amounts of time that you spend connecting with and building up those who are coming up the ladder.

Mentee networking isn’t a long-term commitment to a single person, but it is a focused commitment to help those who are not as far along in their career as you are. Here are some guidelines for mentee networking:

Stay Humble. The key to being a great mentee networker is to not consider yourself better than others in your workplace. You have to have a mindset of helping those who are up-and-coming and look for those opportunities.

Help Interns. Interns are often viewed with disdain by regular full-time employees, but you don’t have to fall into that trap. Interns are often eager to learn and very open to advice. Take advantage of their open attitude and show them the ropes and give them some of the lessons you’ve learned in your career. They will definitely appreciate it!

Learn as Well as Teach. Don’t forget that those coming up behind you have something they can teach you as well. They may have a connection due to a professional development program that could be helpful to you. Perhaps they know new ways to use technology. Regardless, be as open to learning as you are to teaching!

Networking isn’t just about fake smiles and sweaty handshakes. Done well, networking can help you grow your business or career, connect with colleagues, and help those who are coming up behind you.

With those three essentials in your mind, you’ll be ready for success no matter where it comes from!

Which of these essentials of networking clicked with you the most? Share in the comments!